This isn't a final update as such, because I will certainly be mentioning events in the Beaufort Sea in upcoming ASI updates. But it is the last in a series of blog posts I have written (one, two and three) about this unprecedented event that started over 6 weeks ago and has led to a heavily cracked ice pack and a huge amount of open water on the American side of the Arctic.
The event has received some attention on other blogs and in the mainstream media. Just yesterday this image was posted on NASA's Visible Earth website, comparing this year to 2015 and 2014 (mind you, the Beaufort Sea opened up early last year as well):
The image is accompanied by a text, quoting Walt Meier:
“It really is quite remarkable,” noted Walter Meier, an ice specialist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. “There is always fracturing of the ice, but it seems to have become more prevalent and more widespread in recent years. This region used to be mostly multi-year ice, which is quite a bit thicker. Now, most of the Beaufort is seasonal, first-year ice. The thinner ice is weaker and more easily broken up by the winds.”
There are some links to other articles at the end of the Visible Earth article.
As I mentioned two weeks ago it looked as if that persistent high-pressure area was shifting away from the Beaufort, which would probably put "an (temporary) end to the massive cracking and ice movement". The animation below shows there has been some movement, but not as much as in prior weeks. Cloudiness makes it difficult to perceive, but if you focus on one of the two larger ice floes in the red circles, you can get an idea of the scale of movement/change: